News: CAB trains more than 500 in Combat Lifesavers course
By Sgt. 1st Class Reginald Rogers
CAB, 4th ID PAO
CAMP TAJI, Iraq – More than 500 Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division's Combat Aviation Brigade have been certified as combat lifesavers since early April through the brigade's final Combat Lifesaver Course Aug. 25.
The brigade's medics taught proper combat lifesaving techniques to students from throughout the brigade's 4th Aviation Regiment and the 404th Aviation Support Battalion during the five-day course.
Soldiers learned primary medical techniques, such as inserting
IVs, performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, applying tourniquets and field dressings, in addition to several other tasks designed to provide immediate care for injured Soldiers.
The overall purpose of the combat lifesavers training was to teach Soldiers information and skills necessary to save lives on the battlefield. It is designed to train students on how, where and when to use emergency lifesaving techniques during combat, said Capt. Justina Mateen, a physician's assistant and coordinator for the combat lifesavers course. Since the course's inception, the CAB's medical staff taught two classes per day, one during daytime hours and an evening class, to meet the Soldiers' needs.
"I think the training has gone very well," said Mateen, a native of Newark, Del. "The Soldiers who are teaching the classes have shown their expertise, and they've taught some of the extra techniques that they can use on the battlefield. The Soldiers who are being trained seem to truly enjoy it. It's just not being assigned a task to go to class, but they get really involved because it is hands-on training."
The training is important, she added, because the Army is a diverse fighting force and often times a unit may not have enough medical assets during the course of its mission. The combat lifesavers fill the void and provide immediate assets to save lives when the need arises.
Spc. Jesse Salaiz, a course student, said he was pleased with the lessons he learned.
"I think it's a good course," he said. "I came in here to learn a lot of little things that can help me out. It's pretty good stuff, such as inserting intravenous devices, tourniquets and things that I really didn't know about."
The training is more than a refresher for the first-aid training Soldiers receive in basic training and in annual common-task training, said Salaiz, who works in the CAB's S-1 shop, because the CLS course expands on that basic knowledge.
"It's good to go over that stuff because you learn it during CTT, but that's just a day's training and a lot of people may forget about it," said Salaiz, a Killeen, Texas, native. "Overall, it's a good class. It brings a lot of things back to you."
The CLS training teaches important skills for all Soldiers, added 1st Lt. Ben Lewis, a CLS student.
"I think the material covered in the course is something everyone should know," said Lewis, who is assigned to Co. B, 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment. "It gives you that confidence and an additional skill that you can have. It's definitely worth knowing, especially with the heat out here. Soldiers may become more susceptible to heat injuries and being able to insert an IV may become very valuable knowledge."
Lewis said he thinks the CLS training makes Soldiers more of an asset to their units because now they have Soldiers who are able to support the rest of the unit by providing medical attention when needed.
"If a Soldier knows how to do this, then it's one less person he has to rely on to come in and do the job," said Lewis, who is a native of Grove City, Pa.
He said he felt the training is especially important for the Soldiers deployed to the Iraqi theater.
"Regardless of what (military occupation specialty) you are (in), you may be required to go outside the wire and something may happen," he said. "If someone gets hurt and there are no medics around, and you're the only person who's there, you've got to know how to respond. You could be the only factor in keeping that person alive until medical personnel arrive."